Our Youth

Kearney H.S. Stands Up Against Bullies

Bishop Kearney H.S., Bensonhurst, students showed their support for the anti-bullying movement and for programs that strengthen students’ self-image by participating in several events offered by the school, said Sister Thomasine Stagnitta, C.S.J., principal.

Kearney began invited St John’s University professor, Dr. Nancy Kaplan, to discuss the negative effects of bullying and the harm that comes from this kind of action.  In a very specific presentation the Kearney freshmen and sophomores soon realized that by becoming “upstanders” instead of “bystanders,” they could have a positive influence in someone’s life.

Maureen Moses, Bishop Kearney school nurse, leads a group of students in creating notes of affirmation for each student and faculty member in the school to find on Valentine’s Day morning.

Dr. Kaplan also talked about the harm that can result from imprudent use of social media that, in some cases, will have a negative influence on future college and employment possibilities. Dr. Kaplan’s discussion was then followed later in the week by two school events:  P.S. I Love You Day and Operation Beautiful.

P.S. I Love You Day, during which students wear purple, was started by West Islip, Long Island teenager Brooke DiPalma whose father committed suicide. DiPalma started the event in the hopes that her father’s death could have meaning.

On Feb. 13, after students and faculty had left the building, Kearney’s Self Image Club, under the direction of the school’s nurse, Maureen Moses, wrote personal notes of affirmation to each student and faculty member in the school. They then posted these messages on each girl’s locker and around the building for the faculty.

The idea was inspired by the website, Operation Beautiful, founded by Caitlin Boyle, a young lady in North Carolina. She started leaving anonymous Post-It notes for other women to find to make them realize they are all beautiful.

This was the second year Kearney’s club made a Valentine for everyone in the Kearney community to reinforce the idea that everyone is beautiful.